Prepare for Holiday Shipping Now
As supply chain challenges and disruptions are likely to continue into next year, it is important to prepare for holiday shipping now. In August, Dayton Freight and Fedex Freight took steps to discourage “volume” shipments (or shipments that use more than 15 lineal feet of trailer space) as one strategy to cope with imbalances between capacity and demand. So far, no other LTL carriers have followed suit in exactly the same way.
Shifting shipment timing earlier is helping in many cases. Earlier in the day, earlier in the week, earlier in the month. If you have the flexibility to go ship early; we encourage it.
Consider resetting transit time expectations. Almost all LTL carriers are running at below usual on-time performances and few have updated their transit time schedules to reflect so. Or, if transit time is critical, let us know so we can offer alternatives like truckload or expedite.
At Customodal, we are committed to our clients’ success. During this unprecedented challenge, we’ve doubled down on ensuring our existing clients are receiving the best communication and expert commentary.
We closely monitor changing market conditions and tactics to optimize rate and transit time.
“If anything, we’re over-communicating with clients to stay close, and hear their frustrations and problems more clearly and address them more quickly….or to adjust expectations where necessary,” said founder Mike Eberl.
Eberl frequently uses a “canoe on a river” analogy to describe the movement of freight in the US economy: Moving with the current is obviously more productive than trying to battle against it. Additionally, the different paths available to the canoeist are similar to the ways different shippers cope with freight market conditions. There is no wrong path, only those that are filled more or less with eddies, pools, rapids, logjams, and easy paddling.
Having a 3PL is a great resource during challenging times. Benefits of working with a 3PL include:
- Communication & Perspective
A good 3PL, like Customodal, is providing ongoing commentary about changing market conditions across different modes of freight movement, helping clients forecast future conditions, and leading in helping clients manage the expectations of stakeholders that are impacted by higher transport costs or less dependable transit times.
All the while, they are helping you focus on what’s important within all the news and fear-mongering.
- Tactics Adjustment
Right now is a bad time to be negotiating for bigger discounts from carriers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to mitigate cost increases or even hold costs in this environment. It’s also an excellent time to be positioning for when the markets normalize…and even reverse.
“Transportation is cyclical and using the right tactics at the right part of the cycle is experience good 3PLs share for their clients’ benefit,” said Eberl. “Today that may be about being a ‘shipper of choice,’ or shifting peak monthly shipping from the last day to mid-month… or even finding ways to orient freight more vertically instead of beating carriers over the head for discounts.”
There is so much going on in business today that very few have time to keep up with everything. If you are focused on freight…what other part of your business are you not keeping up on? A trusted logistics partner allows you to leverage their experience while you focus on core areas of your business.
Contact Customodal to learn more!